Have you wondered how to engage an appellate specialist to help with a critical trial-court hearing without fully bringing them into the case? If you’re in Travis County district court, consider a limited appearance under Local Rule 20.2.
Local Rule 20.2 allows an attorney to file a notice of limited appearance identifying the hearing to which the notice pertains without assuming responsibility for any matter outside the notice’s scope. The attorney filing the notice may appear and argue the designated matter on the client’s behalf without becoming permanent counsel of record.
How might this benefit trial counsel?
A busy trial lawyer needing help with a dispositive motion or a critical legal issue need not choose between relying on an associate lacking the necessary experience or squeezing the legal heavy lifting into their own schedule. Instead, trial counsel can engage an appellate specialist to zero in on the issue at hand, keeping trial counsel’s own attention focused on discovery or other equally important matters.
A limited appearance is well suited to certain types of motions frequently leading to appellate review, such as:
- special appearances;
- Rule 91a motions;
- motions for temporary injunction;
- pleas to the jurisdiction;
- motions for summary judgment; and
- motions to dismiss under the Texas Citizens Participation Act.
An adverse ruling in any of these situations can make or break a lawsuit. As with any other type of expert, investing in appellate counsel early can pay huge dividends down the line.